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DSISD amends compensation plan mid-year

By Megan Wehring 

DRIPPING SPRINGS — Numerous changes were made to the Dripping Springs ISD (DSISD)’s compensation plan Monday evening.

DSISD has acknowledged a shortage of substitute teachers and auxiliary staff. Beginning Feb. 1, the following mid-year amendments will go into effect: Night shift custodians, split shift bus drivers and bus aides will receive a pay increase of $2 an hour; the daily substitute teacher pay rate will increase by $20; and full-time teachers covering classes when substitute teachers are not available will receive supplemental pay.

Night shift custodians, split shift bus drivers and bus drivers are some of the hard-to-fill positions that are experiencing critical shortages, said superintendent Holly Morris-Kuentz. The compensation amendments will align with current market trends and compete with neighboring school districts.

“Currently, the market has changed quite a bit this school year,” Morris-Kuentz addressed the Board on Jan. 31, “as other districts around us have had substitute shortages and they have been making changes to their substitute pay rates. We saw that start in the fall and it’s a trend that continued, even with Austin ISD making changes on the 18th, so we are continuing to see changes happening around us. We want to make changes in our pay rate structure to be competitive with that.”

Classroom teachers qualify for supplemental pay only when they are assigned to cover additional classes due to a coworker’s absence.

When classes are split due to an absence, elementary teachers who receive three or more additional students from a split class are also eligible for supplemental pay. Secondary teachers can only cover classes for the weekly equivalent of one of their two conference periods, according to the compensation plan.

Elementary teachers providing full-day class coverage will receive $30 per day split and secondary teachers will receive $30 per block class.

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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